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State sues Boston Sand & Gravel over water, air pollution at Charlestown plant

Dust from sand and gravel

From the state complaint.

The Massachusetts Attorney General's office yesterday sued Boston Sand & Gravel over what it says is excessive sand and dust flowing into a small creek and into the air from the company's five-acre facility in Charlestown.

In its complaint, filed in US District Court in Boston, the state is seeking fines of up to $37,500 a day to force the company to stop runoff into Millers River, which drains into the Charles River, and to stop emissions of clouds of dust, which it says are particularly harmful to the teens who use a nearby bike path and skate park.

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Not sure how to approach this one, except to say facts about dust and the type of dust must be presented about this claim. The run off that can be backed with testing.
I just feel we are in a land grab anyway, I wish Boston would invest in business too, blue collar instead of all office and retail. So many live here. Out of all the industry around here I have never had concerns about what Sand and Gravel dispenses out into the air compared to other companies.

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Where this is a fine layer of grit everywhere?

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...any of the new condo/ apartment buildings popping up over here tell their perspective residents they charge $2k+ per month to that they are moving into a toxic waste dump.
As if big rigs idling 14 hours a day waiting to get into Costa Produce right outside the low income housing building wasn't bad enough.
Damn.

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that they havent sold that land yet

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Some Winter Hill Gang remnants would surely be unearthed...

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The issue is "where" else could they go? They are close to Boston where lots of their customers are. They have the trains nearby. Even with some neighbors close by the still have decent buffers between them and residents compared to other locations.

We have the same issue in Chelsea with Eastern Salt. They need the water access and want to be near their customers. So even after two separate major altercations over the years (first with the city and then with environmental groups) they never considered moving and in fact expanded their land holdings presumably to maintain their buffer zone. Including the creation of "Port Park" which is a privately run park with free public access right next door.

Look around , anytime you see some rough looking property surrounded by expensive property you most likely have a business owner who did the math and realized they could never recreate what they have. Look at Good Year right in the middle of Union Square (not that rough but seriously a tire shop in that area? You could never recreate that.)

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The issue is "where" else could they go? They are close to Boston where lots of their customers are. They have the trains nearby. Even with some neighbors close by the still have decent buffers between them and residents compared to other locations.

We have the same issue in Chelsea with Eastern Salt. They need the water access and want to be near their customers. So even after two separate major altercations over the years (first with the city and then with environmental groups) they never considered moving and in fact expanded their land holdings presumably to maintain their buffer zone. Including the creation of "Port Park" which is a privately run park with free public access right next door.

Look around , anytime you see some rough looking property surrounded by expensive property you most likely have a business owner who did the math and realized they could never recreate what they have. Look at Good Year right in the middle of Union Square (not that rough but seriously a tire shop in that area? You could never recreate that.)

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The issue is "where" else could they go? They are close to Boston where lots of their customers are. They have the trains nearby. Even with some neighbors close by the still have decent buffers between them and residents compared to other locations.

We have the same issue in Chelsea with Eastern Salt. They need the water access and want to be near their customers. So even after two separate major altercations over the years (first with the city and then with environmental groups) they never considered moving and in fact expanded their land holdings presumably to maintain their buffer zone. Including the creation of "Port Park" which is a privately run park with free public access right next door.

Look around , anytime you see some rough looking property surrounded by expensive property you most likely have a business owner who did the math and realized they could never recreate what they have. Look at Good Year right in the middle of Union Square (not that rough but seriously a tire shop in that area? You could never recreate that.)

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but they *were* there first, long before anyone even thought of building parks, bike paths, and a skate park nearby. Would that factor weigh at all in their favor?

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They don't pre-date the river. And pollution is pollution. They'd be just as much at fault if the plant was in Western Mass if the particulate matter was polluting a stream and nearby (or distant) residences.

Seniority doesn't count when it comes to pollution.

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Some water hoses and frames to hold nozzles in place would fix this. When dry stuff is wet, dust is no longer created or blows through BS&G's industrial activities.

I'm shocked that this place in the middle of everything now didn't notice or thought no one would notice.

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Unless they qualify as a volcanic eruption, they have to follow the air quality standards and the regulations against dumping into streams.

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I just noticed they have a charitable foundation. Hopefully it won't be affected.

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So far it's just the river and air that were affected.

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Sure. A lobbyist by any other name is still a lobbyist

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g

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State has been angling against BSG for some time now. And that’s the truth.

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people are looking to build on some well placed land, eh?

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What on earth could anyone build there? It's surrounded by multiple levels of highway and active railroad tracks. Can't imagine much appeal even for another industrial use.

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It is surrounded by the cloverleaf ramps linking the Tobin Bridge to I-93. Not many people would want to live there, or work in office buildings there.

Google map link (3D satellite view)

The only other things inside the cloverleaf loops are railroad tracks, a parking lot, and part of the Lynch Family Skatepark.

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3 building complexes scheduled to come on line in the next year. Other sites being surveyed. 2 large buildings on Bunker Hill Industrial Way have been sold or are under agreement. The corner of that street and Rutherford had low income housing built on it. They are building a new neighborhood here. Cassella Recycling, Costa Produce and Boston Sand and Gravel are the last holdouts and the politicians will bulldoze them with red tape. BS&G fought to stay put and won during the Big Dig, probably because the project required so much concrete. They literally built the highway around Boston Sand and Gravel. To the point where if you want to get on 93 from Rutherford Ave you have to go a 1/4+ mile BACKWARDS on a ramp to get on instead of getting on at in the North End after the Washington St bridge, in some perverse move to hold out-of-towners and newbs suspended over traffic in a new kind of traffic hell as savvy drivers shave 10-15 minutes off their commute by avoiding that ramp (likely built with BS&G concrete and installed as some kind of requirement to the project, otherwise it makes zero sense). That ramp is a monument to #MApoli corruption. I salute it every time I pass by.

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No BSG and the cost of concrete goes astronomically up. Construction costs in Boston then go astronomically up. Which means housing prices go astronomically up.

Why is the AG's office leading the charge and not the MassDEP?

This how you know it's a politically motivated prosecution. MassDEP and potentially the EPA (pollution going into the harbor) would be all over otherwise.

BSG fought the Big Dig taking their land. The woman behind BSG is a TOUGH COOKIE. She sure as Hell isn't going to roll over for a crooked AG trying to please campaign donors or polishing their brass for a promotion.

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They are polluters who have gotten a free pass for far too many years.

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Do the tracks need expanding?

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has two unused tracks, west of the ones currently in use. They have never been connected to the drawbridge. It might be necessary to demolish some or all of the former Spaulding Rehab building in order to connect them.

In any event, I don't see how buying more land on the north side of the river would help the T.

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I have a dream where that bridge will be open to car and pedestrian traffic after all electrified rail goes underground to the North South Rail Link and the rail head next to North Station and most of the rail covered land gets sold to help pay for it. New neighborhoods all around!

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Who use a park recently built by the state. Therefore, the state is suing them.

It looks like a well connected neighbor wants the business gone. Yup, that’s good government.

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The state is suing the teens?

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I could get all snooty and note that you knew what I meant, but indeed the pronoun is vague.

I will keep it there, as a mark of shame.

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The still need to connect Tobin inbound to 93 north instead of sending traffic through Charlestown.

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